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Archive for Sunday, March 14, 2010

Jayhawks surprised by seemingly tough NCAA draw


KU players, from left, Marcus Morris, Mario Little, Markieff Morris, Sherron Collins, Jordan Juenemann, Cole Aldrich and Jeff Withey react to their NCAA Tournament seeding.

KU players, from left, Marcus Morris, Mario Little, Markieff Morris, Sherron Collins, Jordan Juenemann, Cole Aldrich and Jeff Withey react to their NCAA Tournament seeding.

March 14, 2010, 5:02 p.m. Updated March 15, 2010, 12:00 a.m.

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KU earns NCAA tourney's top seed

The Kansas University men's basketball team is headed to Oklahoma City to open the 2010 NCAA tournament as the nation's overall No. 1 seed.

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VIDEOS: Bill Self discusses NCAA Tournament

Kansas head coach Bill Self discussed the team's seeding in the NCAA Tournament Sunday, March 14, 2010.

Marcus Morris about lost his dinner of hamburger and chicken strips while watching the revealing of the NCAA Midwest Regional bracket with his Kansas University basketball teammates Sunday in the Naismith Room in Allen Fieldhouse.

“The first thing I thought was, ‘Wow, are we No. 1, or is somebody else No. 1?’” said Morris, shocked by the strength of a regional that includes KU — the country’s overall No. 1 seed.

“There’s Ohio State and Georgetown and the only teams we lost to (Tennessee, Oklahoma State). That was tough to think about. I feel we’ve got a lot of tough teams in our bracket. But, I mean, at the end of the day, it doesn’t even matter. Whoever they put in our bracket is just another step standing in our way,” Morris added.

The Jayhawks’ first test comes against Patriot League champion Lehigh approximately 8:40 p.m. Thursday in Oklahoma City’s Ford Center. Winner advances to Saturday’s second-round game against either UNLV or Missouri Valley champion Northern Iowa.

Other headliners in the regional are: No. 2 seed Ohio State, regular-season tri-champion of the Big Ten; No. 3-seed Georgetown, which has defeated No. 1 seeds Duke and Syracuse; No. 4-seed Maryland, regular-season co-champion of the ACC; and No. 5 seed Michigan State, another tri-champ of the Big 10.

There are also No. 6 seed Tennessee and No. 7 Oklahoma State, the only teams to topple KU this season.

“After you look at the bracket, you say, ‘Well, I don’t think we had a lot of favors done to us,’’’ KU coach Bill Self said. “It should be tough. It’s why it’s your national tournament. All teams are good.”

Yes, but Clark Kellogg and the rest of the CBS analysts seemed to agree KU’s regional is the toughest of the four. They say the Jayhawks face more potential potholes on the road to the Final Four than overall No. 2 seed Kentucky (East), No. 3 Duke (South) and No. 4 Syracuse (West).

“Just looking at it from the seeding standpoint, I’d agree whole-heartedly (with announcers),” Self said. “We’re No. 1 overall. You’ve got the No. 2 seed that several people thought was in the conversation for a No. 1 (Ohio State).

“You have in my opinion a team that played unbelievable down the stretch. Any team that was able to score 91 points against Syracuse (in 91-84 win in Big East Tournament), you know they can beat anybody any night,” he added of Georgetown. “Your 4 seed is ACC co-champion, and 5-seed is Big Ten tri-champion.”

Still ...

“We are not even concerned about that. If you look too far ahead, you are preparing for something that may never exist. You’ve got to stay in the present, and the present is this weekend,” Self said.

And first up is Lehigh, which went 22-10 overall and 10-4 in Patriot League play.

“We’ll totally respect them because we played one other team from the Patriot League a few years ago. If I’m not mistaken, Bucknell was in the Patriot League, so I’m sure we’ll be hounded and reminded of that,” Self said.

Bucknell stunned KU, 64-63, in a first-round 2005 NCAA Tournament game in the same Ford Center in OKC.

What did that Bucknell game mean to KU senior Sherron Collins?

“Nothing,” he said. “I wasn’t here then. None of us were here then.”

Self said he’d have tape of the current darlings of the Patriot League, Lehigh, by Sunday evening.

“We know McCollum (C.J. freshman guard) can really score,” Self said of the player of the year and freshman of the year in the conference who averages 18.9 ppg. “They obviously are good and deserving. I believe their coach Brett Reed has been there three years and obviously has done a great job. We’ll be excited to play.

“Some of our guys actually watched them play (Friday). They saw for themselves Lehigh is good.”

Indeed, KU’s players caught some of the Lehigh-Lafayette conference title game from their hotel rooms over Big 12 tournament weekend in KC.

“They’ve got a good freshman guard, good players,” Collins said.

As far as the site ... KU lost a first-round 2009 Big 12 tournament game to Baylor in Ford Center and won three games there in the 2007 Big 12 tourney.

“I’d like to go play well in Oklahoma City for our university first and foremost,” Self said. “One weekend there we were great, and a couple weekends we weren’t great. I don’t want it to be distractions for X and C.J. (Xavier and C.J. Henry, who hail from OKC), and I don’t think it will be.”

If the Jayhawks win two games in Oklahoma City, they’d advance to the regional semifinals the following Friday in St. Louis.

While the Jayhawks admit it’d be nice to meet the team that knocked them out last year (Michigan State) — “We feel like we owe them something” Morris said — they realize they have a lot of work to do the opening weekend to advance that far.

“We’re going to go into every game and play tough and try to just keep moving forward,” Morris said.

Here are all the seeded teams in the Midwest bracket:

  1. Kansas
  2. Ohio State
  3. Georgetown
  4. Maryland
  5. Michigan State
  6. Tennessee
  7. Oklahoma State
  8. UNLV
  9. Northern iowa
  10. Georgia Tech
  11. San Diego State
  12. New Mexico State
  13. Houston
  14. Ohio
  15. UC Santa Barbara
  16. Lehigh

Comments

jackpot 4 years, 9 months ago

How many "orange" teams are in the bracket? No "killer Bee's". Good luck Hawks.

parrothead8 4 years, 9 months ago

So both teams that beat KU this season were placed in the same region as KU for the tournament.

Interesting.

riverdrifter 4 years, 9 months ago

Told you so! This was locked up a week ago.

mtjayhawk406 4 years, 9 months ago

all i have to say is KU goin TO win the national championship.....

kuphillyjim 4 years, 9 months ago

will have to give me lehigh friends some grief about this matchup - thought it was a possibility...of course the jayhawks wll trounce the Mountain Hawks.. is it me, or does Kansas have the toughest 4 and 5 seeds to have to deal with in the sweet 16...maryland is playing well, and michgan state underachieved but was pre-season top 5...

look at the other 4 and 5's out there...id take any one of them over those 2...

overall, its a weak field... nova is my second favorite team, but a #2 seed after collapsing down the stretch?

HarleyFord 4 years, 9 months ago

jackpot...OSU and Tennessee, should only have to play one of them

kuphillyjim 4 years, 9 months ago

by the way, i bet northern iowa keeps it close in round 2.....

still think id switch places with every top seed, except maybe syracuse since that could mean having to beat k-state for the fourth time.... potential ohio state, georgetown, mich state/maryland and kansas in st louis...wow...sure thats where nantz and kellogg will be

hawked 4 years, 9 months ago

MW is definately the toughest region--but Hawks need no favors, the rigors of the Big 12 have gotten them more than ready for the tourney. Maryland and MI St at the 4 and 5---that is crazy---not to mention Gtown and Oh St---bring em on!! Rock Chalk

riverdrifter 4 years, 9 months ago

Multi, all KU has to do is win six lousy games for your fears to come to fruition!

BTW, I like our bracket. "That which does not kill me makes me stronger."

bkreed1960 4 years, 9 months ago

3 orange teams in our bracket, I think-Oklahoma St., Tennessee, and Syracuse.

labmonkey 4 years, 9 months ago

KU/K-State in the Final Four would be awesome!!! That would be one of the greatest days in Kansas history.....and KU taking out K-State for a fourth time would be nice too.

yankeevet 4 years, 9 months ago

2009-10 Lehigh Men's Basketball Lehigh Season Schedule/Results & Leaders (as of Mar 12, 2010) All games

RECORD: OVERALL HOME AWAY NEUTRAL ALL GAMES........... (22-10) (15-2) (7-8) (0-0) CONFERENCE.......... (10-4) (6-1) (4-3) (0-0) NON-CONFERENCE...... (12-6) (9-1) (3-5) (0-0)

mom_of_three 4 years, 9 months ago

How in the heck did osu and tennessee end up in the same bracket as us? Doesn't seem right. Sometimes you have to scratch your head and wonder. Poor Mississippi state. They played so hard today, played kentucky as well as anyone and just didn't make it.

HarleyFord 4 years, 9 months ago

bkreed1960...Syracuse is not in our Mid West bracket They are in the West bracket with K-State. Yes they could be an opponent in the final 4. I think K-State will take them out before that.

bkreed1960 4 years, 9 months ago

Yes, I realize they are not in the Midwest, but seeing all that Orange on the left side of the bracket was enough for me before the Final. I'm hoping K-state takes them out before then, but here's hoping K-state won't have to play them either.

Kevin Randell 4 years, 9 months ago

Ok, I am calling out all my blogers to help me out here. How is it we get the overall #1 seed, but Duke gets the winner of the play in game? I thought the overall #1 seed gets that opponent? Also, I have to laugh....those bracket guys have tried their best to give us the hardest chance to make it to the final four. I'm not worried though.....we will win, one game at a time...Indy here we come. :)

Steve Jacob 4 years, 9 months ago

I think KU has the toughest second round game for a #1, with Northern Iowa deserving a hight seed.

devobrun 4 years, 9 months ago

Looking at the brackets......can we trade places with K-State? I like their 2nd seed pairings better than our #1 seed pairings.

maxcrabb 4 years, 9 months ago

OKJAYHAWK- There is a rule that the winner of the play in game has to play on the Friday of the first round, not thursday. So KU couldn't play the play in winner unless their game was on a Friday. Weird technicality, but that's how it stands now.

jumpin_catfish 4 years, 9 months ago

KU's got it's work cut out for 'em but when you're the big dog the toughest competition is only fair. West Virginia may be a surprise team and I could see them playin' KU in the championship.

jaywalker 4 years, 9 months ago

I'm gonna post this over and over because I've been saying it for the last month.........

We don't wanna face Georgetown. We struggled against Cornell, Michigan, and Tennessee; Why? They run a variation of the 'Princeton' style offense. Who runs it better than anyone? Georgetown. Why? Thompson III apprenticed and then coached at Princeton under the Legend there, and he's transferred it to the 'Hoyas. I'm hoping they get knocked out before we face 'em. 2 through 13 are ridiculous for the number 1 overall to have in their bracket. We got jobbed, IMO.
That being said, still gotta win 'em one at a time. We can do it, but it sure won't be as "easy" as '08. And whoever posted here that WVU is the "sleeper" is nuts. They were the fifth number one according to the selection spokesman. Ain't nothin' 'sleeper' about 'em.

Go 'Hawks! Bring the fire, baby!!!

devobrun 4 years, 9 months ago

If KU were to swap places with K-State:

Ohio State ..............Syracuse Georgetown .......... Pitt Maryland ................ Vandy Michigan State........Butler Tennessee .............Xavier Oklahoma State..... BYU

These are the top 7 seeds in Midwest and west regions.
Ohio state is tougher than Syracuse because the big man for Syracuse is out. I know that they are saying that he is day to day. So am I. The young man has a history of bad quad tendons and that is his problem now. He won't return this season in any effective way.

Georgetown is scary. Pitt is not the usual tough bunch of hombres this year. Maryland and Vandy.....eh.

Michigan State over Butler? Tom Izzo? A team that was ranked in the top 5 this year over a killer B? This year I'd rather have a little sting from a bee.

Tennessee/X and Okie State/the Y.....Both teams are the only losses for the J-hawks this year. I figure the committee included them in the J-Hawk region for spite.

Well, if the Hawks get bounced from the elite 8, I'll still have K-State to root for.

jayhawks71 4 years, 9 months ago

What's the point of having a number 1 #1 seed again? Apparently it doesn't mean that you get a favorable schedule. Is the only benefit that KU gets to play in St. Louis? Someone on the committee must have gone to Duke. Most questionable of the 1 seeds gets the softest bracket.

weeslicket 4 years, 9 months ago

my opinion is that it doesn't matter what the brackets look like. the team that wins this tournament must win 6 games in a row against increasingly better opponents. show up to play, and then play to win.

stuartthepanama 4 years, 9 months ago

here goes the east coast bias again, i don't think its coincidence that kansas has by far the toughest bracket, and syracuse has a shamingly easy bracket. Kansas hwill have to beat almost 3/4 of the toughest teams in the country to win a championship, and if they fail in any step all the east coast sportswriters are going to claim the big 12 is overrated and point out how easy it was for the big east to march through the brackets. I think the selection committiee need to recognize and disregard the east coast bias before screwing the big 12 again.

jaywalker 4 years, 9 months ago

True dat, wees. 'Course then again, you have a team that plays such a schedule and so well that they are hands down #1 out of 64 teams and then you give them THE toughest draw of the four brackets? Sorry, we got jobbed with our pants on, no kiss, no reach around. Every pundit says the Midwest is easily the hardest. I've never been one to gripe about our draw that much, but this year is complete bs and Bob Knight said it best: the guys that pick the tourney don't know jack about basketball.

Ohio State - won conference tourney and have POY in NCAA Georgetown - easily toughest match-up for KU and in tourney finale Maryland - tied for conference title Michigan State - tied for conference title Tennessee and OSU - only teams to beat 'Hawks all year Northern Iowa - won conference title New Mexico State - won conference tourney

Jobbed!

If I were in Coach Self's shoes, I'd hammer this disrespect home, get 'em pissed. Be angry fellas, this is an incredible disservice.

notajayhawk 4 years, 9 months ago

I wonder if there has ever been a college basketball fan, anywhere, that didn't complain their team got stuck in the toughest bracket.

News_to_me 4 years, 9 months ago

Remember folks, we don't have to play all those teams. It'll be tough for them to make it to us as well. I'm sure the team would love to have another shot at Okie State or Tenn or Mich. St but first those teams have to get by Ohio St, Georgetown and Maryland respectively. And that's assuming nobody gets upset on the way. It's a tough bracket, no doubt, but the Jayhawks are tournament tough. But first things first. Lehigh. And then we'll see how it plays out.

Jaylee 4 years, 9 months ago

Honestly, with it being a steady increase in throttle from the end of season, to Big 12 Tourney, to the NCAA Tourney, it should be the smoothest ride we've ever had, says I!

Getting tossed back and forth between solid to weak opponents ALWAYS messes with teams, especially us.

This is gonna be an awesome tournament!

devobrun 4 years, 9 months ago

Assuming the results of the first two rounds follow the seedings: In the sweet 16 and elite8:

KU : Michigan State and Ohio State Duke : Texas A&M and Baylor K-State: Butler and Syracuse Kentucky : Temple and West Virginia

Fair? I still like K-State's opponents better. Syracuse is now a #1 seed who didn't show up for the last two games of the season. They are 4 and 3 for their last 7 games. Then they lost their big man. 6'9" 280 lb 5th year senior and inside enforcer.

I like K-State in this tournament.

Scruggsy 4 years, 9 months ago

Just another reason to hate Duke! They have Nova #2, Baylor #3, Purdue #4???? Purdue won't win a game. Baylor is OK, but not used to this kind of pressure. Hardly compares to the gauntlet of champions KU will need to run through... Worst job of seeding the committee has ever done...

Stuart Evans 4 years, 9 months ago

"They say the Jayhawks face more potential potholes on the road to the Final Four"


seems fitting, they are from Lawrence...

Scruggsy 4 years, 9 months ago

Get a freaking clue Penders... A #2 can't be a sleeper. Go find an Obama thread.

kuphillyjim 4 years, 9 months ago

im not whining about the brackets, just stating the facts that the other #1 seeds, especially stinking duke, the least deserving #1, has much easier paths.. that could be actually good for a KU squad that has lacked focus at times..they wont be taking anyone for granted.. good point Georgetown being a tough opponent..one big edge is Kansas's depth,whereas Georgetown is essentially a three man team with no bench, and KU can run big man after big man out there and get Monroe in fall trouble... im just saying, in 08 i looked at the brackets and was 95% confident KU was going to the final 4... my confidence level in this bracket is about 55%

buddy2me 4 years, 9 months ago

Would someone please explain to me why everyone is gripping about the teams in our divison. My bracket I printed out must be wrong? Mine shows that KU wouldn't play all those teams if they keep winning. You all are saying that KU has the hardest bracket, but there is no way they would meet all those teams. Not all those teams can win and move on! Let's quit acting like a team that doesn't deserve to be rated #1. To get to the elite 8 the highest seeded team is Maryland at #4, and surely we all believe in our team enough to know they can beat them!

Lambeau 4 years, 9 months ago

Hawk fans...let's get to OKC and support the #1 team in the USA. We shouldn't take anything for granted. Remember Bucknell? Tickets were still vailable this morning on www.ticketmaster.com Go Hawks!

lindseydoyle 4 years, 9 months ago

Assuming KU wins its first two, Maryland is the biggest threat. I would love to see a rematch with MSU but don't think they can beat Maryland. I look for Ohio State to get bumped off, maybe by Oklahoma State.

BigPrune 4 years, 9 months ago

the selection committee was looking at the largest media markets and which teams would bring in the most dollars for the NCAA. That's why KU got the toughest opponents because we have the smallest media market of the #1 seeds. The selection committee wants KU to get knocked out.

Russell Fryberger 4 years, 9 months ago

So, this means when Kansas cuts down the nets that they earned it and no one can whine about it being an easy schedule.

canusayduh 4 years, 9 months ago

Many people would like KU knocked out. Myself included. But I really get tired of all the whining KU fans do this time of year. If you are that good, shut up, play the game, and support your team.

ChristyLittle 4 years, 9 months ago

I watched ESPN last night for a few hours, waiting for some K-State love (some, not much), and the analysts largely agreed with what most of you are saying ... KU definitely landed in the toughest bracket. That said, they largely favored KU to clobber everyone. I hope that's what happens, even if my Wildcats have to play you again. I'm ambivalent about K-State's road to the Final Four. They could be so focused on another KU matchup that they knock everyone out of the way, or they could do something flaky in the second or third game. We do get flaky! We were lucky to draw that No. 2 seed.

Richard Payton 4 years, 9 months ago

Some years in the past NCAA draw for the hawks has been eazy. I would prefer seeing Virginia Tech instead of Texas or Illinois over Missouri. The time of year you either win and advance or get sent home packing. I hope the Big 12 shows how much better we were than the Big East, ACC and other conferences. It would be hard to take if the Big 12 folds if after taking credit for being the toughest conference this year. Kentucky being so young a team will get beat I believe but extremely talented with only two losses like KU.

classclown 4 years, 9 months ago

Man up and quit being a bunch of whiners Jayhawks. If you're really that good, then it shouldn't matter who you have to play in any round.

Pat Long 4 years, 9 months ago

Sit down, shut up, and just play one game at a time. End of discussion.

tanaumaga 4 years, 9 months ago

we should be licking our lips at a chance to play the cowpokes and vols again....revenge tastes good.

tanaumaga 4 years, 9 months ago

we should be licking our lips at a chance to play the cowpokes and vols again....revenge tastes good.

rayguns13 4 years, 9 months ago

@okjayhawk

The #1 seed team of a lower caliber plays the "play in" game winner because that game is played on Wednesday and it gives less time to prepare for a team then knowing on Sunday.

georgiahawk 4 years, 9 months ago

If this was a year in which we were questioning just how good we are then the tough bracket would be a big issue. But this is the year where we know that we are the best in the nation, we just don't know how much better. A tough road, an easy road, should not make any difference when we are the best! Go Jayhawks, stay focused, cause pain and humiliation whenever possible and for as long as possible!

jonas_opines 4 years, 9 months ago

canusayduh (anonymous) says… "Many people would like KU knocked out. Myself included. But I really get tired of all the whining KU fans do this time of year."

And yet, here you are, on the Lawrence paper, listening to all of it. . .

gatekeeper 4 years, 9 months ago

Barry - WV isn't a sleeper. They've been a top team all year. If you watched college ball on a regular basis, you would know this. Many thought they would get a #1 seed instead of Syracuse (should have). They've been tough since day one of this season. They've had only 6 losses and they were to Purdue, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Villanove, Pitt and Conn. Huggins in a drunken jerk, but one heck of a coach.

Go back to your stupid posts about Obama that no one reads anymore.

KU is the best team in the nation. Who cares if our bracket is hard. If we are the #1 team, we can beat these guys. KU is lucky that they play only in the midwest (that's the preferential treatment we got for being the overall #1 pick). Syracuse is in the west and have lots of traveling to do. We stay closer to home and have a bigger fan base that will travel to see and support them.

Rock Chalk!

jaywalker 4 years, 9 months ago

Thank you, jonas. Saved me from posting same.

Steve Tramba 4 years, 9 months ago

jonas_opines (anonymous) says…

canusayduh (anonymous) says… "Many people would like KU knocked out. Myself included. But I really get tired of all the whining KU fans do this time of year."

And yet, here you are, on the Lawrence paper, listening to all of it. . .

No whining here, just seeking factual support on why the #1 overall seed doesn't have any ONE of the weakest #2, 3, 4 seeds in its bracket? What's the point then in #1 overall? Whitlock has a great article of potentially why (until he tosses in race as a factor) regarding Duke & CBS' contract. It's true... more people love to hate Duke than love KU. But you play the game, and to be the best, you should beat the best. Time for #2 in 3 years, RCJH Go KU!!! Let's get win #2008 (2010 wins in 2010 would've been cool, but my undefeated is hard to do)!

LK785 4 years, 9 months ago

Take this as an insult KU, and take it out on these overated, overhyped teams! Ohio State wants none, X or Brady or both will put a clamp on "The player of the year". Mich St. I hope we see u agian. We shoulda beat you last year. We are READY! KU is the most complete team in the nation. We play 40 min, and not a lot of other teams can play at the same level for a full game. KU will put n work and we will celebrate on Mass. once again!!!!

jonas_opines 4 years, 9 months ago

Hard to see MSU knocking us off without Suton. He was pretty much the reason we lost last year.

SterHawk 4 years, 9 months ago

One game at a time. The team can handle this, so I hope the complaining is out of everyone's system. Go, 'Hawks!

jhokfan 4 years, 9 months ago

I've misplaced my decoder ring. Can someone decipher barrypenders comments for me?

Uhjh 4 years, 9 months ago

Whining will lead to defeat. It will only make the Hawks tougher in the final game were ever it comes. Play each game period!! If this is a tough bracket then wining will make us the team to beat. A little disappoint in Self just get the team ready to play the game.

weeslicket 4 years, 9 months ago

i'm in this way late again. and once again i will apologize for having not read mostly everything posted above.

here's my point. ku will face lehigh to begin. and then the winner of unlv / n. iowa and that get's you to the sweet 16.

to get to the final 8, that's likely ku vs. either michigan st. or maryland.
to get into the final 4 it's ku vs. any of the (likely) following: tennessee (6), oklahoma st(7)., georgetown(3), or ohio st(2). ku doesn't play all of them; they only play the winner of these.

if you win the midwestern regional, then you still have two more games to win. -- your first final 4 match-up (don't matter who it is) -- and the final match-up (don't matter who it is). play each game, and play it to win each time.

weeslicket 4 years, 9 months ago

eh? ku's to lose. or ku's too loose. eh?

BorderRuffian 4 years, 9 months ago

as for the person who warned against parking on Mass Street because of the celebrations, sorry to say, all the celebrations will be elsewhere. KU will, in all liklihood, lose in the first round - resoundlingly, solidly, and dismally. They've coasted too long and too far, and their come-upance is looming before us.

This is why so many here are whining - they all know KU is finally up against solid opponents, not the weaklings they usually blow past and get pumped up over.

weeslicket 4 years, 9 months ago

we'll see how the games play out. in the meantime, you missouri fans can sit back, relax, and think about all those final four banners hanging in your basketball arena......... bbwwwaaaaaa haaaaaaaaaaa haaaaaaaaa snort hiccup

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